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Written by: Amy Ryan Rued
Date: September 3, 2014

Age is no barrier!

Age is no barrier!

As embarrassing as it is to admit, I remember being 17 and thinking that turning 30 would be the pinnacle of one’s life. Moreover, I thought that beyond age 30 it was all downhill, not even worthy of contemplating.

Where did that foolish idea come from?

Decades later, it’s obvious to me that as we age, we are capable of achieving whatever we set our minds to!

Yet, it’s not uncommon to hear discouraging words from our friends, relatives and even ourselves: “I can’t do this…” or “I’m not able to…”, or “I just don’t think I’m really capable of that…”—because I’m too old.

We all may feel that we are losing some of the energy that we had enjoyed twenty, thirty and forty years ago. But this minor loss of energy doesn’t mean that we can’t do more than we’re doing!

When we take an attitude that discounts our ability to do something—without really examining what that “something” is—we’ve created our very own self-fulfilling prophecy. Unfortunately, this outlook dampens our hopes, translating our negativity into reality. We’ll convince ourselves that we can’t do “it”—without ever attempting to try.

Instead, why not take the challenge and ask yourself what you’d have to do differently to accomplish the goal at hand? Thirty years ago, if we were asked to go to the top of the hill in front of us, and bring back a flag, we’d simply climb that hill and get that flag.

Today, some of us would look at the top of that hill, shake our heads while lamenting: “I can’t climb that hill, it is too steep.” We’d erase that goal from our mind, and never consider its possibilities.

In lieu of saying to ourselves: “I can’t…,” why couldn’t we ask: “How can I?”

That question opens our minds to a wide array of opportunities in our lives. It removes that ANT (automatic negative thought) that can so easily creep into our lives, and replaces it with curiosity.

Age isn’t a factor to success. Your attitude is.

Placing our intention on accomplishing a goal—even a little one—offers us an expectation of achievement. And often that requires just a little bit of creativity. If we would use that creativity in climbing that hill, we’d force ourselves to look at the hill in a slightly different way. Maybe we could scale the hill in three phases, resting along the way, and enjoying the panoramic view en route to the top.

It might take longer to achieve the goal, but our accomplishment would be all the more gratifying when we did.

When we are given a challenge and then we succumb to the habit of saying to ourselves that “I can’t do that” we will descend into defeatism. Now is the time for you to reverse that trend. Now is the time for you to be resourcefully creative.

If you anticipate an “I can’t do it” statement creeping into your mind, challenge yourself to go beyond the uncertainty and do it. Think about how you might look at the challenge in a slightly different way; how you could approach the task at hand in a way that you can easily reach that end goal.

Or as Diana Nyad, the athlete who made history by swimming from Havana to Key West suggests, “Find a way.” Nyad undoubtedly applied that strategy as she fulfilled her dream when she was 64!

Over the course of her life, she made multiple attempts to reach that destination. And you can bet she didn’t embark on her last trek repeating, “Oh crap, I can’t do this.”

When you relinquish the debilitating habit of exclaiming, “No I can’t” and move to the place where you take the approach of, “Yes I can and I will,” you’ll discover how empowered you feel. You realize that you can accomplish so much more than you ever thought. But don’t try to tackle it all at once. Begin with baby steps, even 10-minute increments will add up over a course of a week or month.

Set the intention to succeed before you begin any task! Before long, you notice that you are making progress after all. Eventually, Voila! You will have succeeded.

Remember: attitude, not age is the true factor leading to accomplishing a goal. Kiss that naysayer voice good-bye. Or lock it in the closet for a while as you make it a routine to encourage yourself with: “Yes, I can do this. I really can, I can, I can!”

You’ll be amazed at the shift of attitude will yield. And the progress you’ll make.

Go out there; defy your age barrier because you are capable! And know we’re rootin’ for you!